Hammock Sleeping

About a month ago, the girls and I switched from our beds to hammocks.  This spring I went on several backpack trips, and I discovered I love sleeping in a hammock.  Then the kids and I took a week long primitive camping trip, and we all took to sleeping in the trees like the Greeks over 2000 years ago.  We loved it.

When we got home and had to sleep in our beds, we were not happy.  Some of us decided sleeping outside in the trees was preferred.  With several thunderstorms looming, I spent the better part of a day researching how we could hang our hammocks inside.  I was a little leery since the RV walls are constructed differently.  After lots of researching, I came to the conclusion we had to do the old trial and error method.  I bought eye bolts and hung the hammocks.  Then I picked the child who weighted the least, and cheered them on as they cautiously crawled into the hammock.  YEAH! It held!  We tried the next one, and so on until we had all tried them out.  Nobody came crashing to the floor, and the eyebolts only caused minor creaking from the walls. There have even been times when the twins crawl into my hammock and cuddle - three of us hanging from those two little eyebolts in these RV walls - quite an accomplishment if you ask me.

I feel like I am sleeping better, and the research done by the Swiss, confirms my experience.  The study showed the participants fell asleep faster, slept deeper, and helped alleviate pressure point pain.  Separate sleep studies show that by getting quality sleep we are better readers, have more energy, and have increased learning abilities.  Plus it is just fun.  The gentle swaying brings back memories of easy, lazy days, and today, it was nice to take my "bed" outside for a beautiful Fall nap.


Autumn Family Tradition

As autumn is blowing in strong, the children remind me of a Fall family tradition. 
One Fall, while living in our stick and brick (S&B), we had an abundance of apples.  We had a pantry lined with jars of applesauce and slice apples, a freezer full of apple pie filling, and best of all – canning memories with the besties.  (Oh, it is easy to pine for those days). On that Fall day, which seems like so many moons ago, I began thumbing through the 70’s Better Home and Garden Cookbook, and came upon Apple Fritters.  Who knew this recipe/ritual would become a pivotal turning point on the Trochesset wheel? 

For weeks now, Maia has been reminding me, like a cold gusty Autumn wind, that it is Apple Fritter time.  So, this morning we officially ushered in the Mabon season with these yummy little puffball donuts.  They did not disappoint. 

Because of some dietary changes we have made in our diets, we made them gluten, dairy, and “sugar” free.  We used Pamela’s gluten free flour, chai seed egg substitute, and Agave syrup.  Although I would still not consider this a health food, I feel this recipe is better for our digestive system.  The flour substitute is an equal flour for flour.  The chia seed is three tablespoons water and two tablespoons ground chia seeds mixed together to form and egg like liquid. And the Agave is an equal sweetener to sugar.  Walla – Vegan, Gluten-free Apple Fritters!

I also think because of our dietary changes, and not eating sweets on a regular basis, today we enjoyed these little treats so much more.  If you do choose to try these, be careful, they might turn into a forever kind of thing. 


The World is Our Schoolyard

There have been people who believe the world is the best teacher since the beginning of humankind. They are called Explores, Crusaders, Pirates, Roma, Nomads, and many other names. Always on the fringes of society, these are the people who push through fears with courage and hope. 

These are our people.

The parks have become our schoolyard again. The kids bring their stories to life - today Peter Pan with an environmental ethos.

Soon we leave our summer home (Coralville lake), and the winds blow us southward. For now, we savor these empty parks and cool breezes. 


Happy 14th Birthday Hanna

September 6th
Today Hanna turns 14. Hanna celebrates with a huge smile on her face, and talks about all the cool things a 14-year-old gets to do – mainly getting her permit.

My heart begins to hurt. Tears well up in my eyes.  Hanna is not ready to get her permit, and no, I am not just being an over protective mom.  Trauma.  That is why I hurt. Trauma Hanna had no choice in.  Trauma shadows everything she does.

Recently Hanna’s special needs doctor sent us to the Endocrinologist, at my request, to see where Hanna’s hormones are based on her peers.  We got the test results back, and, much like my mommy instinct suggested, Hanna’s hormones and bones are delayed.  The doctor had blood work, and a hand bone x-ray done, which all came back with the same internal age – 10.  This only confirmed that academically she is on track at the 5th/6th grade level.  So even though we are celebrating Hanna’s 14th birthday earth side, Hanna really is more compatible with 10 year olds.

So it begins, well-meaning friends and family will ask, “How old are you now”? and my insides will cringe.  I know the judgmental side glances are coming because “she doesn’t act like a 14 year old”.  Instead of celebrating her milestones, they assume things about her not being developmentally appropriate.  I get it but it still hurts, and I am angry.  I am angry at the adults in her foundational years who failed to keep her safe, who failed to help her thrive, who created this trauma.  I am ANGRY and SAD!!!!!  I could digress here on how our social system has failed, and all the problems with generational trauma, and our mental health system, and how all these things make so ANGRY also but I will spare that for now.  Right now, I am just sad and angry for my beautiful Hanna.  My beautiful, strong, loving, warm, friendly, happy Hanna.

The good news is that Hanna is resilient, and easily finds happiness, and has learned to grow through her trauma.  The good news is that the “whole package” Hanna is developing steadily, and by the time she is 25 or 30 she will be just like her peers, maybe even taller according to the Endocrinologist.  The good news is that Hanna is surrounded by family, every day, that accepts her for who she is right now – not how she should be.  In fact, our lifestyle choice has actually set her up beautifully to grow, and flourish at her own pace.  The good news is that Hanna has people in her life who understand trauma.

Trauma also means when Hanna does hit those special milestones, we celebrate with more cheer and emotions. So even though I am angry and sad now, I know we have lots to celebrate now and in the future.


We're Still Alive

Somewhere in the time travel worm we lost a year, or gained a year depending on how you look at it.  I like to think we gained a year.  So, what happened? 
Well, it started with the failure of our laptop, and then our IPad got shattered (with 7 tiny hands, go figure), and it just became so labor intensive to type everything out on my phone. I continued to keep most everyone updated via the wonderful book of faces but now I feel a yearning to start our blog back up.  We got a new laptop, and there are so many more things I want to say than the space Facebook will give me.
I am going to start regularly setting aside time to write again, and we have a whole years worth of stories to catch up on.  See you down the tails.